St. Boniface School faces financial crisis

We received a letter last Friday from Sandy Heschel, a parent of a first grader. A year ago, her daughter Diane attended kindergarten at public school, but as an extremely shy child she had trouble adjusting to the overall environment, according to her mother. She and her husband Patrix Heschel decided to enroll Diane at St. Boniface School in Oak Harbor and saw a very positive change.

“Today, she comes home and can’t stop talking about her day and even begs to stay in aftercare,” said Sandy Heschel.
Early this year, the parents of St. Boniface school children received a letter from Erin Karl, President of the St. Boniface School Advisory Council. Thanks to a 10 percent increase in enrollment for the 2011-12 school year, the school has managed to find the finances to keep going. That appears to be in jeopardy for the 2012-13 school year.
“Like your family, the school/church family is operated out of a single checkbook,” says Erin Karl in the letter sent to parents. “Just as the economy has taken a toll on our own personal finances, it has also taken a toll on school finances. During the harsh economic climate of the past few years, we have experienced a decrease in fundraising profits. Our enrollment also declined until this school year.”
On Feb. 21, the Advisory Council is expected to present 5-year and 10-year strategic plans to the parish finance committee showing a viable path and sustainable funding, enrollment and growth.
“It will also show why St. Boniface Elementary School is a necessary and vital part of our parish and community,” said Karl.
According to Karl and the School Advisory Council, they need to acquire $100,000 to fund the school next year. Each family who has a student at St. Boniface has been asked to raise $3,500. Sandy Heschel said her jaw dropped when she saw that number.
“What am I going to do?” she asked. “I picked myself up off the ground and decided to do whatever it may take to make this happen.”
Parents have been encouraged to contact relatives, neighbors, friends, employers, co-workers, local and area businesses and St. Boniface alumni. Karl emphasizes that all donations are tax deductable and will be earmarked and returned to the donor should the funds not be used for school operations.
Additionally, parents have been asked to recruit one new student to St. Boniface School. They are hosting an Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, Feb. 16, and an additional Open House from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, during their Lenton Fish Fry Fundraiser.  Any new student that enrolls by March 13 will receive $100 off their 2012-2013 tuition.go to check out   
Karl ended her letter to parents saying: “The potential for growth is real, but we have little time to exploit the opportunity. We truly need your help and prayers.” She closed by repeating the campaign slogan … “St. B is for me!”

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